Top 10: Collaborators That Could Use a Reunion

Series scribe Tony Gilroy returns with his first directorial go in the Bourne saga tomorrow, The Bourne Legacy. Having parted ways with Paul Greengrass – the man behind the camera for both The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum – many have been wondering if Gilroy has the chops necessary to give the franchise’s signature frenetic aura that certain special oomph. While the movie-going public mulls that one over this weekend, Mr. Deepayan Sengupta and I have compiled a list of collaborators both past and present that we hope get back together sometime in the near or distant future. Enjoy, and as always, feel free to voice your own personal wishes for future collaborations!

The Grey10. Joe Carnahan and Liam Neeson

It’s no secret that Liam Neeson has found a comfortable niche within the realm of the B-grade actioner. From Taken to Unknown to Taken 2, the leading man’s talents seem to have been hindered by the shallowness of his more recent role choices. With this year’s The Grey, both him and director Joe Carnahan put on display two positive career turns, the latter being the biggest surprise as the film’s existential musings on humanity and mortality wowed even the most skeptical of viewers. It’s garnered its fair share of detractors; namely those who were looking for something more one-note in the same vein as Neeson’s brand of ass-kicking, but one thing’s for sure: The Grey is Carnahan and Neeson at their very best, and hopefully the two rekindle their relationship sometime in the near future.

Irreversible10. Gaspar Noe and Vincent Cassel

It’s hard to find someone that’ll openly confess their love for Gaspar Noe. Sure, these people exist, and I’m one of them, however to say Noe’s body of work is polarizing would be a tremendous understatement. Among his relatively thin filmography rests Irreversible; an effort that’s more shunned based on its unflinching depiction of violence than it is praised for Noe’s expertise as a filmmaker. With virtually no script to follow – just a basic plot outline – male lead Vincent Cassel essentially improvised every bit of his performance throughout the production, bringing to the role an unparalleled sense of authenticity and urgency as he starred alongside real-life partner Monica Bellucci. Granted, Cassel’s no slouch when it comes to demanding dramatic roles, however a reteaming with Noe would push him to the limit once again in the best possible way.

Road to Perdition8. Sam Mendes and Jude Law

“While Sam Mendes is known mostly for family dramas such as American Beauty and Revolutionary Road, he’s made two notable departures in his short career; the Gulf war drama Jarhead, and the gangster drama Road to Perdition, with the latter featuring Jude Law in his best turn yet as a crime scene photographer that moonlights as a cold-blooded murderer to pay his way. Law hasn’t had a lot of roles in his career that have taken full advantage of his capabilities as an actor, often getting pigeonholed into attractive yet bland male lead roles, but reuniting with Mendes might be just what the doctor ordered for his skills, and it wouldn’t hurt Mendes to have an actor with Law’s charisma in another movie of his as well.” – Deepayan S.

Fargo7. The Coen Brothers and William H. Macy

This one’s debatable, but with Fargo ranking among the upper echelon of the Coens’ extensive canon of films, one of this particular Oscar nominee’s strongest suits is William H. Macy’s knockout central performance. Embodying every grating imperfection to a T, Sir Macy’s Jerry Lundegaard is the world’s unlikeliest villain, bumbling about like the idiot he is all-too-convincingly as the real professionals do all the dirty work. Granted, the Coens obviously have an inherent knack for bringing out the best in their casts, but its the strength of Macy’s efforts have subsequently strengthened my feelings toward a reuniting of the trio in the (hopefully) near future).

Schindler's List6. Steven Spielberg and Liam Neeson

“Liam Neeson is largely known these days for being the thinking man’s B-movie action hero, his unexpectedly charismatic turn in Taken, a movie that wouldn’t amount to much without his presence, being a large contributing factor to that. But before he was Bryan Mills, Neeson played Oskar Schindler in 1993’s Schindler’s List, delivering a performance that towered over the likes of Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley and remained responsible for making the movie the modern classic that it is regarded as today. Both Spielberg and Neeson can hit those highs again if they collaborated, and although Lincoln gained an admirable replacement to Neeson in Daniel Day-Lewis, I hope this isn’t the last we’ve heard of a second Spielberg movie starring Neeson.” – Deepayan S.

Batman5.Tim Burton and Michael Keaton

“Before he was known for casting Johnny Depp in most of his movies, Burton’s choice for a key male performance was Michael Keaton. Keaton’s performance as the titular hero and his alter ego in both Batman and Batman Returns has, of course, been discussed at length, and while those were both fine performances, where he really shines is as the manic, unpredictable agent of chaos Betelgeuse in Beetlejuice. Burton tends to hand off roles of a similar nature these days to Depp, but returning to his roots by casting Keaton in such a role instead would do wonders towards changing the entire tone of the film and setting it apart, as well as possibly reinvigorating Keaton’s career, which has seen an undeserved drop in recent years.” – Deepayan S.

Beetlejuice4. Tim Burton and Winona Ryder

“Whenever any discussion of Tim Burton’s filmography occurs, two of his movies invariably get thrown into the mix as his best: Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands. The one thing they both have in common, apart from Burton, is Winona Ryder in a key role. Ryder’s presence is crucial to both movies’ success, and while both have fallen out of favour in recent years, Burton and Ryder are still capable of delivering gems individually. A collaboration between the two of them might just provide the spark they need to return to form, and hopefully their reunion on Frankenweenie leads to a third live-action Burton-Ryder movie, if for no other reason than to remind the world what they’re both truly capable of.” – Deepayan S.

Reservoir Dogs3. Quentin Tarantino and Tim Roth

“While the actor most commonly associated with the early part of Tarantino’s career is John Travolta for his eye-opening turn as Vincent Vega, there is another actor who formed a crucial part of both Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs; Tim Roth. Roth is one of the more versatile actors in Hollywood right now, but he’s unfortunately had limited success in finding roles that effectively exploit his talents, even turning to television for a few years, but the fact that two of his memorable roles are in Tarantino films is no coincidence, as he fits into the sensibilities of the director like a glove. It would be a treat to see Roth and Christoph Waltz face off under the watchful eye and script of Tarantino, and I hope we see that someday.” – Deepayan S.

Seven2. David Fincher and Brad Pitt

Having first worked together on Fincher’s colossally well-received sophomore effort Seven, Fincher and Pitt reunited once again for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a sprawling fantasy epic that garnered both parties Oscar nominations and further established the auteur as a singular American filmmaker. Fincher’s found similar success with many others, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo‘s Rooney Mara most recently, however it’s Pitt’s turn alongside seasoned veteran Morgan Freeman that warrants a reteaming for nostalgia’s sake, what with Seven being a fine first benchmark on Fincher’s now stellar resume.

Raging Bull1. Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro

Mean Streets. Taxi Driver. Raging Bull. Need I continue? For content’s sake and that alone, I will. Having fallen victim to misfire after misfire (after misfire) as of late, Bobby D.’s been stuck in a proverbial rut he can’t quite fully pull himself out of. Scorsese on the other hand’s been truckin’ along unhindered, garnering a substantial amount of additional notoriety for last year’s Hugo and showing no signs of slowing down in the coming years. At the risk of being wordy, I’ll cut myself short by saying that a reteaming of this dynamic duo isn’t just wished for by casual viewers and cinephiles alike; it’s borderline necessary, and urgently so.

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